Dover, DE. June 22, 2018 – It’s beach season again and, consequently, there is the potential for a high number of impaired drivers on Delaware’s roads. Last year, there were 3,997 DUI arrests, 1,047 DUI crashes and 38 DUI fatalities in Delaware. Of those, 29 DUI crashes occurred during the July 4th holiday week. This summer, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) will be implementing measures intended to reduce the number of DUI-related crashes and fatalities during the upcoming July 4th holiday time frame.
During the June 21st – July 2nd enforcement period, OHS will be using a 3-pronged approach to encourage impaired drivers to make safe decisions by finding an alternative ride home. First, OHS will be supporting an increased and highly visible law enforcement presence, especially at Delaware’s beach towns.
Second, OHS will deploy a paid media campaign to educate the public about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DUI arrest can set you back an average of $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, and more. It could also result in the loss of your license and possibly even your job.
Third, OHS will be implementing its SoberLift pilot program at Delaware beaches during the July 4th holiday week. In partnership with the ridesharing company, Lyft®, beginning on Saturday, June 30 and running through Saturday, July 6th, we’ll be providing a limited number of free Lyft® codes (maximum value of $15) for individuals who want a safe ride. A number of our corporate partners will be sponsoring the Lyft® vouchers. A media event kicking off the program will be held on June 28 at the Starboard Bar and Restaurant (2009 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach, DE 19971) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A media advisory with detailed information will be forthcoming.
“The program is patterned after the highly successful SoberRide® program in the Washington, DC area,” says Mitch Topal, Marketing Specialist and Public Information Officer for the Delaware Office of Highway safety. “OHS plans to roll the program out statewide in the very near future. We are very appreciative of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program and Lyft® for their help and guidance in getting this program from the drawing board to final implementation. And we thank our corporate sponsors for their financial assistance.”
OHS urges motorists to plan ahead. Don’t let a DUI ruin your life. Find a designated driver, or use a ridesharing service like Lyft. You can also text saferide to 90000 for a link to a list of Delaware taxi companies as well as download links for the Lyft and Uber apps.